Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  John Dickson  

Pen Name: None

Genre: C:ADULT

Born: 1916 in Chicago, Illinois


Illinois Connection

John Dickson was born on Chicago's North Side. When he was six his family moved to Glencoe, Illinois. He attended New Trier High School. Dickson lived in the Chicago area most of his life.

Biographical and Professional Information

Dickson,a Chicago native, wrote most of his life. After 43 years as a grain broker for the Chicago Board of Trade, John Dickson sold his membership and started writing poetry full-time.Dickson's free-verse poetry reflects Chicago with such subjects as the Aragon Ballroom, Rosehill Cemetery, the Victoria Hotel and the Ravenswood ''L.'' He writes of the Chicago artists and heroes: Isadora Duncan, Glenn Miller, Ronald Colman. His involvement with the poetry community in the Chicago area included membership in the Poetry Club of Chicago, Poets and Patrons and serving as treasurer for Thorntree Press. Dickson was a weekly participant in the New Trier Extension Poetry Lab in Winnetka. He contended that the discipline of attending the class forces him to write a new poem or revise an old one every week. Because more than half of his life was spent in the trading pits, Dickson sought noisy settings such as restaurants to do his writing.Since his first poem appeared in ''Harper's'' magazine in 1968, Dickson was published more than 300 times in more than 40 journals, including the ''Southern Poetry Review'', ''Spoon River Quarterly'' and the prestigious ''Poetry'' magazine. His poetry even appeared on CTA buses. Dickson won several awards in national and international poetry competitions.

Published Works Expand for more information

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